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About ChrisW

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    2007 Jeep JK Black

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  1. So - a follow up to my initial post… I swapped out the Smittybilt ironwork for an OEM-ish bumper and skid-plate, and left the winch off for the moment. I think the net change is circa 60 kg lighter. I did two fewbie drives this weekend, both fairly technical and one with some more sweeping dunes. The front rides a little better I think - I suspect the front springs being less compressed gives some slightly better handling and rebound. Not sure there’s a discernible change in performance, but I’m sure it all helps. Thanks again for the discussion - and perhaps an offroader-to-be might read this and make a better choice! After: Before:
  2. Another brilliant drive, thank you @Ale Vallecchi A valuable trip as much for the experience of getting out in AUH’s bigger flowing dunes, as well as the many learning points taken from today (comm’s, convoy discipline, working with soft sand and having to be smart with spacing, lines and momentum). One particular learning moment for me pictured below… As with yesterday, the main joy was being out with you all. A good team all in all.
  3. Just catching up on yesterday’s drive - many thanks @Ale Vallecchi, you set a bold plan and we mostly managed to follow you through it! I think that was my longest continuous drive so far with Carnity - and to be honest was hard work; I don’t think I’ve done so many technical dunes back to back. However as always a rewarding experience - both to build confidence in the techniques and enjoy the really unique sights. That was my first time driving up to the Solar Park - incredible spectacle. Thanks all, really enjoyed getting out there with you all!
  4. Morning @Ale Vallecchi, grateful if you can confirm the start point - need to plan some timings from home. Thanks!
  5. Oh interesting, will look in to this…hadn’t been aware that was a thing…
  6. Thanks all, some very helpful points to ponder. The consistent theme is of course that less weight (or improved power to weight ratio) will always be a good thing. On that basis I’m looking to swap the front end for something much lighter. I am sure there will be secondary benefits with respect to balance and front-end loading too. The bumper itself is a Smittybilt model out of the US, and I think optimised for rock crawling (…or maybe just bashing!) above all else. I can safely add myself to the long line of people who have added offroad mods ahead of actually knowing what they need (versus what the garage are happy to sell you!). The winch is an interesting one. Sounds like it’s useful one in twenty times as a last resort. Of course the thing about last resorts is that you might rarely use them, but you’re always pleased you had it to fall back on… I think for me the approach will be lighter bumper with a winch plate, but save fitting the winch for much further down the road when I’m more experienced/driving with a less equipped group.
  7. Thanks, @Luke K P - that's a helpful perspective. The Jeep has fairly good clearance as is, however having something that won't easily be damaged (i.e. a lighter/smaller metal bumper) will give peace of mind. I'm thinking the winch might be worth shelving for a while. Might take a look at taking mine off for now as a partial weight-saving step. Can always put it back on later.
  8. Notwithstanding Carnity’s very welcome approach of stock cars being entirely suitable in the early stages - I wanted to start a discussion on the merits of having a winch and aftermarket bumper. I’ve been conscious of power vs weight with my Jeep (the 3.8L engine is not blessed with much other than a thirst for oil), and having gone back to check the data sheets - I’ve discovered that my winch weighs 60lb and my steel bumper comes in at a whopping 140lb. That’s basically an adult sat ahead of the front axles…not great for balance or overall mass. On the upside however I have a bumper that is pretty rugged, unlikely to get damaged any time soon, has some solid tow points, and a winch that could scale the side of a mountain single-handedly. So…I’m curious to hear views on at what stage a winch is genuinely useful to have, the merits of stock vs near stock vs fully rugged bumpers, - and given the choice between lightness or resilience, which way our resident desert rats would run…
  9. Yeah, I live in AD so the speed limit and red light traffic cameras are a well known feature for me! I have to admit that I thought I’d already crossed in to Dubai side and had a little slack as compared to the signs.
  10. Not sure if you caught my earlier post - but I had the same issue, and my solution was to change the ring and pinion (final drive ratio) - aka regearing.
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